Great place for camping and fishing, the lodge has great food if you don't feel like cooking
I have been camping at Montauk since the mid 1960's. We spent many family vacations camping and trout fishing the head waters of the Current River in Montauk. The staff are all really friendly and the lodge has good food with a nice buffet on the weekends. It's a busy park so it's best to make reservations unless you are arriving during the week but that can still be an issue some weeks. During the fall you can get some good colors.
The water is beautiful and the fishing is great. Getting up early to watch the mist on the water is a must. Tranquil and fun!
This is where my love of camping started. I spent many summers as a child camping at Montauk State Park with my grandparents. After those early years of riding my bike as a child around the campground loops, I now take my child there every year with the hope that he appreciates it as much as I do.
Montauk State Park is one of the Missouri Conservations four trout parks, and is located at the headwaters of the beautiful Current River. The Current along with the Jack’s Fork River make up the Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park. Since it is one of Missouri’s trout parks you will find a majority of campers are there to fish. You can purchase a trout tag at the lodge for $3.00, and it will allow you to keep 4 trout per day with a possession limit of 8. The conservation will stock the Current on a nightly basis, based on number of tags sold the day before. The stretch of river from spring to the falls are some of my favorite fishing anywhere. I have a group of guys that get together every spring and fall for a trout fishing trip.
As the Current River winds its way through the valley, it creates one of the campground boundaries. This allows you to be near the river at all times, or even next to it, if you grab one of the spots on its banks. The campground is broken down into 4 separate loops, with loop 1 being the only basic section, all the others have electricity. I have spent more time recently camping in the basic section with the guys. We have used sites 115 for the space and 119 for the seclusion. Our family did camp on Mother’s Day on site 418, in loop 4. I would not recommend this site because you only have a small space between you and your neighbors.
There are two bathroom/shower houses with laundry facilities located in the campground, along with three campground host. You are able to purchase firewood and ice in the campground as well. Sites do go quickly so you will need to book months in advance.
The lodge has a full restaurant, as well as a diner style counter. My son love’s to go and sit at the counter to get ice cream. You will find menu item such as burgers, sandwiches, and salads, as well as a buffet on certain days. You can even order a sack lunch to take out to the river bank. The lodge also has a store stocked with camp essentials, souvenir items, and fishing supplies. If you do not have your own fishing poles, they have some for rent. You will also find the lunker board located here, so if you are lucky enough to catch a three pound trout bring it to have it weighed for your lunker patch.
If you decide not to fish, there are things to do such as take a tour of the mill when the naturalist does one of their demonstrations, hike the quarter mile trial to the springs (one of my son’s favorites, he likes to search for the water bubbling out of the ground), hike the longer 1.5 mile pine ridge trail, feed the fish at the hatchery, or take in one of the nature programs at the amphitheater. Also if you head out of the park on YY you will find Tan Vat Access located right outside the park on the Current. This is a great place to take young ones for a dip in its cool waters. Also you can take a gravel road out of the park to a funky little place called Bo’s Hollow. A family has built a small town in a field, where you can buy a bbq sandwich lunch, and take a model A ride to Ashley creek for swimming and a picnic.
I hope you get a chance to check out Montauk State Park. It is one of our family favorite destinations.
We've made the three hour drive to Montauk State Park a couple of times in the last year. We just love it there! It's especially wonderful if you can make it in November when the crowd has left and you can really enjoy the crisp, cool fall and have so much of the campground to yourself. Just beware, they lock the bathrooms and shower houses down during the off season! We, of course, love to trout fish and have always had fishing luck in our favor there. We also love to eat a meal at the little on site restaurant and enjoy the convenience store when we've forgotten things. Try the ice cream at the restaurant! Delish! We've only located one trail in the park: Pine Ridge Trail. It's a nicely maintained trail. We went at sunset and the view from the top was gorgeous. One of the conveniences of Montauk is cell service! You can actually use your phones here, unlike many Missouri State Parks. If you're looking to take your family swimming- I don't think this is a great park for this. There are literally people fishing everywhere and there isn't really a great place to swim. Campground does have a nice play area for the kiddos. Camp sites are generously spaced. We did have some nightly skunk visitors circle our camper, but they were so fat and cute and thankfully kept their stinky spray to themselves.
The campgrounds and cabins can be a bit difficult to book, if visiting on a Friday or Saturday, but the park is worth it. Cold spring fed, stocked stream, which is the start of the current river. If you're trout fishing, you'll need your MO state fishing license, as well as a daily trout tag within the park. Below the park at Tan Vat landing, you'll need your MO state fishing license and a trout license. Areas on the Current River, directly below Montauk are "Blue Ribbon" areas, so be sure to read the restrictions on trout fishing.
This park offers some excellent trout fishing in MO. The camp site we stayed in was for tents only. It was right on the stream. My son and I was able to buy our trout tags the night before fishing and then get up early in the next morning and walk 50 feet to go fishing. The shower house has the hottest water I've ever had at a state park. It made for a steamy shower on the cold nights.
Another great trout park on Missouri
Driving into the park you pass all the great landmarks of this park, the mill, the pavilion, the hatchery, the lodge. Then you pull up to the campgrounds, and the shaded lots. Very easy to pull into and get setup. The grpunds a very well maintained and kept. The fishing is phenominal for all types. The lodge provides all you could possibly need and more.
This is a great area to fish for trout. The river is beautiful and offers a place to relax. The campground offers several different options depending on your set up. The on site restaurant is good and worth a try. Such a beautiful state park.